In what is possibly the biggest outreach by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, as many as 17 union ministers will be in the state over the next fortnight, a party leader said on Wednesday.
BJP spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak told IANS those who would visit the state are Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (Agra), Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari (Lucknow), Fertilizers Minister Ananth Kumar (Gorakhpur), Agriculture Minister Radhe Mohan Singh (Moradabad and Aligarh) and Food and Civil Supplies minister Ram Vilas Paswan would be in Allahabad.
The spokesman further said that these ministers would cover 23 Lok Sabha constituencies, meet people and take their suggestions.
They would also inform them of the schemes rolled out by the National Democratic Alliance government for their welfare and also expose the opposition parties, especially the Congress for stalling the parliament.
"The people who never engaged in dialogue are now ensuring that discussions do not take place," Pathak added.
Other ministers who would be touring Uttar Pradesh are Ram Kripal Yadav (Kushinagar and Deoria), Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan (Saharanpur), HRD Minister Smriti Irani (Amethi), Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, who would camp in Bahraich and Giriraj Singh who would be travelling to Mathura and Faizabad.
Final touches of the programmes of Chaudhary Birender Singh who would be camping in Bulandshahr, Piyush Goyal in Ballia and Phoolpur, Sanwar Lal Jat in Baghpat, Nihal Chand in Jalaun, Upendra Kushwaha in Chandauli, Krishan Pal in Muzaffarnagar and Jhansi, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Meerut and Rampur, are also being worked out, the BJP leader said.
The move is being seen as a move by the BJP national leadership as an attempt to connect with the party workers and the masses after some reports suggested that the party was fast losing its ground.
The BJP had won 71 seats on its own and two were won by its ally Apna Dal in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
The state goes to polls in early 2017.